Friday, June 27, 2014

Book Review: Mercy Row Clann by Harry Hallman

Mercy Row Clann: 
Book 2 in the Mercy Row Series
By Harry Hallman
Genre: Historical Fiction, Crime

Purchase on Amazon

The Byrne family fights two wars. One for the freedom of the world and the other for the survival of their family. It's 1943 and America and its allies are at war with Germany and Japan. As World War 2 rages, the Byrne family must send their sons to war in Africa, Europe and the Pacific, while they fight a war at home instigated by old enemies, internal greed and new foes.

The Byrne children's ability to protect and grow the family, and the North Philadelphia K & A Gang, is tested with violence, sorrow and love.


Mercy Row Clann is book two in the Mercy Row Series, but I feel as though it could be classified as a stand-alone novel, too. While I recommend reading Mercy Row, I think readers could jump into book two and keep up with the Byrne family just fine.

Harry Hallman doesn’t waste any time tossing his characters into high action scenes. This book is set in the 1940s in Philadelphia and few of the family members are overseas in battle. For the remainder of the family in Philly, they may not be in the midst of world war but they are fighting for their lives from the enemies in their own state.

I really love the strong role that female protagonist Mercy plays in the drama. Hallman doesn’t hesitate to kill off anyone in this book and I appreciate that! He depicts the real life of these times during the war and gang life in Philly. There is violence and strong adult language but they are both fitting for the story line and do not feel excessive.

Mercy Row Clann touches on war, crime, loyalty, and of course – family.

Author's Biography - Harry Hallman 

Hallman was born in 1944 and raised in the Kensington section of North Philadelphia. That was a year before World War II ended. He was influenced by the stories told by returning servicemen and the proliferation of war movies that were shown on the then new invention of the television. With the influence of movie heroes such as John Wayne, and real heroes like Audie Murphy, he gained a healthy respect for his mother and father's generation and their sacrifices. His uncles on his mother's side both served in WWII, one in the Army and one in the Navy.
Hallman's father was Harry Hallman, Sr., a champion billiards player who also owned a poolroom called Circle Billiards, located at Allegheny Avenue and Lee Street. The younger Hallman spent many hours after school at his father's poolroom and watching his father play in other poolrooms in Philadelphia and New Jersey. The people he met, some belonging to the real K&A Gang, influenced his writing of the Mercy Row series.
He served four years in the U.S. Air Force, including two tours in South Vietnam, as a photographer. He is married to Duoc Hallman, whom he met in Vietnam, and has two children, Bill and Nancy, and one grandchild, Ava.
Hallman is a serial entrepreneur who has created several marketing services and digital media companies and continues to work as a marketing consultant.

Look for the continuation of the Mercy Row and Mercy Row Clann story with book three in 2015.

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